Jim Prendergast of Mill Pond Music Studios

I recently remembered this little 2013 excursion, when friend and musician Joe Deleault invited me to join him in the studio for a record he was producing. He, musician Andrew Sterling (who's in the final photo), and I trekked to Mill Pond Music Studio in Portsmouth, NH, to spend the day with owner Jim Prendergast. Prior to establishing this recording studio, Jim was a full-time session guitarist (and more) in Nashville. He still travels there regularly, when not in the studio (as a musician, producer, or engineer) or performing with bands locally.

Natural, indirect light illuminates his studio, thanks to large windows along one wall (extending through multiple rooms)—a photographer's dream. I exposed three or four rolls of film, allowing myself to enjoy observing Jim's process of music-making, not the least of which involves an analog tape deck for audio capture. Brilliant.

And yes, it was just as relaxing and comfortable being there as it looks in the photos.

a photographic collaboration with dance and sculpture

Amy Fortier, artistic director of Ballet Misha (and friend), asked me a few weeks ago to create promotional photographs for her upcoming performances with ArtFront, a new arts organization in New Hampshire. Her performative element of the exhibit would be made in and around the work of sculptors Vivian Beer and Christina Pitsch, and she wanted photographs to reflect that.

Moving their works into Amy’s (ground floor) dance studio was a far easier option than moving them into my (second floor) studio, so I moved my photo gear into her space for the weekend. The process was uniquely collaborative: Amy and Vivian directed the dancers, making suggestions and adjusting positions, while viewing the photographic results nearly in real-time on my laptop monitor.   Working without a mirror, the dancers would also run back to check the screen and make mental notes about changes to be made. All of us had an intensity of focus, bringing to bear our own individual aesthetic visions and artistic skills on this moment, but creating something together, in concert, that would have been impossible to make otherwise.

We had initially planned for a day-long session, but, as efficiently as we worked, we knew by mid-afternoon that we’d be returning the next day. As with all good things, though, no one complained about the time and effort required to make these. That everyone--artists working at very high levels in their respective fields--involved expressed such enthusiasm about the final product is gratifying and humbling.

ArtFront’s inaugural exhibition will be held on March 23-25 in downtown Manchester.

portraits from theatre kapow's 24-Hour Play Festival

I've worked as a photographer with theatre kapow since their inception, and their efforts to create an authentic and unique dramatic experience is nothing short of inspiring. A few years ago, they began a 24-Hour Play Festival, which produces about five original short plays--from writing to performance--in a day. The experience is both absolutely taxing and thrilling for everyone involved.

Two years ago, I photographed the dress rehearsals, but I wanted something more. I decided to set up a small portrait studio (single softbox on a grey backdrop) in the wings of the stage, and when the cast and director finished their allotted 30-minute final rehearsal on stage, each graciously sat for a brief portrait. I've posted only a portion here; the full set can be seen on my website.

The 2014 24-Hour Play Festival starts tonight and will be performed tomorrow evening.

Aaron Compagna, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Olivia Dodd, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Justin Voshell, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Emily Sarah, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Karen Oster, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Kelly Litt, 2012.
Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Anthony Febo, 2012.Photograph by Matthew Lomanno

Kathryn & Sam, engaged

I've known Kathryn for a few years, after I met her (and Sam) at her sister's wedding. When she and Sam became engaged earlier this year, they called to book me. We made these engagement portrait (and some others) a few months ago. Everyone is excited for their wedding next year, and I'm honored to be making photographs for their families again.

the hoofpick

the hoof pick, made by Chris Doherty

Since theatre KAPOW has extended their run through tonight, I decided to revisit this photograph I posted last week.

In preparing for our promotional photography session, I knew that the props were a major element of Desdemona. Walker Evan's photographs of tools ("Beauties of the Common Tool", Fortune, July 1955) immediately came to mind. In homage to Evans and this new object, I wanted to create a photograph that would emphasize and celebrate its aesthetics. I waited until we finished our staged scenes and character portraits, then set up the photo and borrowed this tool while the cast finished their rehearsal in my studio.

The hoofpick was handmade by blacksmith Chris Doherty of Semiosis Forge.

Cristina Staltare, artist

Cristina Staltare, April 2014.
I discovered Cristina and her paintings through her senior thesis exhibition, Nature in Passing, at Saint Anselm College last year. Her small, intimate works invite the viewer to approach and linger in her landscapes.

Her paintings will be on display at Amoskeag Studio for the coming weeks, with the opening held on April 26 in conjunction with a performance by the Brad Myrick Quintet, celebrating the release of their album, Halogen.


Grace, August 2013.

Grace is the older sister of Christopher Duffley, who was in the studio last year for some promotional photography. She is a talented artist and musician in her own right, often performing with Christopher, who, despite being blind and autistic, has awed thousands in person and millions online with his musical performances. But her tremendous love and support of her brother is immediately obvious.

Towards the end of our session, I asked her to sit for me, and she obliged.

Andrew Sterling in Mill Pond Music Studio

Last year, producer Joe Deleault invited me into the recording studio to photograph Andrew Sterling as he finished his album. We spent a few hours in Jim Prendergast's Mill Pond Music Studio in Portsmouth, NH, reviewing previous results, recording a few more tracks, and watching Andrew and Jim work. The environment was relaxed yet technically precise, and everyone ended the day pleased with the results.

character portraits for theatre kapow's "Penelope"

For theatre kapow's production of Penelope by Enda Walsh, director Matt Cahoon and I decided to create character portraits for promotional use. If the results are compelling, it is due to wonderful and talented actors.

The performances are this weekend, and even more photos are available on their Facebook page.

Neal Blaicklock as Fitz

Wayne Asbury as Quinn

Colby Morgan as Burns

Peter Josephson as Dunne

Gina Carballo as Penelope

Littles and Bigs

On an early December morning, I photographed a fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Manchester. Part of my task was to create portraits of the Littles (in their lingo) with his or her respective Big. Given the hundreds of supporters waiting in the next room, our time was limited, but I hope the portraits reflect the ease and comfort of these special relationships.

Toshihide Takekoshi, artist

Toshi and I met through our families years ago, when we were neighbors. Always kind and welcoming, he rarely speaks of his own work, but his home is filled with his paintings. During a family studio session, I was able to make a few solo portraits, despite his protests.

Amoskeag Studio is honored to host some of his work for the next month. A humbler artist you will never meet.

Toshihide Takekoshi, 2010.